This week 17 people went to school not knowing that it would be the last time they would ever do so. 17 individuals who were designed by God to bear His image to the world are no more. 17 people were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday February 14th, 2018. And with so many of us connected to those who attend schools in our everyday lives it is easy to wonder… could I or someone I love be next?
And all of this brings pain.
There is the pain of not knowing if today could be the fateful day for us. The pain of seeing others lose those they loved. The pain of knowing that life truly is short. The pain of facing the truth that one day, far too soon, all of our lives are going to end.
And out of this pain we all search for answers. We all find something that we think could solve the problem of school shootings in the future and we hold onto it. We try to call out for it to be adopted by all as loud as we can and sometimes we vilify those who don’t agree with our solution. And in the end all of the social media rants will only drive a wedge between people and show off our own brokenness and fear.
Something needs to be done. I have no question in my mind or in my heart that something needs to be done, but I am not certain that any of us knows the complete answer.
Policy change isn’t the complete answer. It certainly may be a part of the solution, but to think that we can petition the government to pass legislation that will fix everything is to put the government in the position of the god of all of life.
Thoughts, good vibes, and prayers are nice, but they are not the complete answer. Thinking about our own mortality forces us to hold life preciously. Good vibes really are nothing more than delusions of grandeur, thinking we can affect something miles away from us with nothing more than our spirit. This thinking puts us in the position of the gods of the worlds. And prayers are important because they connect us to the only one who has the power to make changes that could possibly solve the riddle of why school shootings ever happen: God. But to pray and only be connected to God and not turn around and love others puts us in a position where we haven’t truly been connected to God.
So what do I suggest? I am not sure. I know we need to move forward with humility. And I know that the only way that sin is ever going to stopped is if the Spirit of God is allowed to run wild in all of us. There is plenty of work to be done by us to make it as hard as possible for anyone to gun down students as they try to learn to be productive members in society, but there only so much we can do to curb the wickedness in people’s hearts. Only God can say,
26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
What are you going to do to help be a part of the solution? How are you going to connect people to the God who can give them a new heart filled with love and forgiveness instead of selfishness and anger?